Mana is the primary resource for casting spells. Mana is typically drawn from lands, but it can also be generated by various non-land spells. The mana system, designed by Richard Garfield, is part of what makes Magic so successful.
Origin of the concept[edit | edit source]
The term "mana" in association with magic is used by many different cultures, though its more recent usage in fiction and games is generally credited to science fiction author Larry Niven in his The Magic Goes Away series. The designers of Magic paid homage to Niven with the lich character of Nevinyrral and his Nevinyrral's Disk.
Within the worlds of Magic[edit | edit source]
Mana is the magical energy that fuels the spells of spellcasters. It is deeply interconnected with the lifeforce on every plane in the Multiverse, and it can take that role by itself as well.[note 1] When there is little or no mana in an area, things die or become emaciated and weak.[note 2]
Leylines[edit | edit source]
In Magic, leylines are ancient mana paths that flow and crisscross each other across a given landscape. All worlds have a network of leylines. They are often found rather than cast. For example, leylines formed the Implicit Maze on Ravnica and connected the hedrons of Zendikar. Nahiri created cryptoliths on Innistrad to bend the leylines to her will, and to summon Emrakul. Eldrazi are known to follow leylines. 
Colors of mana[edit | edit source]
The following six types of mana can be added to your mana pool:
Mana costs[edit | edit source]
Every mana which can be added to your mana pool can also be specifically required to pay the mana cost of a spell or ability. However apart from that there is a wide variety of mana costs used in the game.
Converted mana cost[edit | edit source]
The converted mana cost (commonly abbreviated CMC) of an object is an integer equal to or greater than zero. It is determined by converting each colored mana symbol in the spell's cost to 1 (unless it is one of the hybrid mana symbols , each of which converts to 2), then adding the results to the colorless mana cost of the spell. (For example, spells with mana costs of and both have a converted mana cost of 3.)
The only case in which a spell's converted mana cost can ever vary is for spells with in the mana cost. When an object with X in the mana cost is on the stack, X equals whatever value was chosen for it when it was put on the stack. In any other location, X equals 0.
- See also: X.
Purple mana[edit | edit source]
During design for Planar Chaos, the developers considered using a new sixth mana color to give the feeling of an alternate reality. They decided on purple as the color, and gave it a place in the color wheel in between blue and black. A new ally and enemy system was invented, in which each color would be enemies with the color directly across from it, allied with the two colors right next to it, and neutral towards the remaining two colors. Purple's basic land would most likely be "City," though both "Cave" and "Portal" were also very likely.
The team eventually decided to give purple enchantment removal worse than white's, direct damage worse than red's, and take away blue's countermagic and black's force-sacrifice effects to give to purple.
However, when they realized that players might be disappointed if there was a new color that didn't really "do anything new", the team started losing interest in the idea and eventually decided to replace the concept with a new type of timeshifted card.
Mana abilities[edit | edit source]
A mana ability is either:
- an activated ability that could put mana into a player's mana pool when it resolves.
- a triggered ability that triggers from a mana ability and could produce additional mana.
A mana ability does not use the stack, and as such it cannot be countered or responded to by either player.
|Examples of activated mana abilities
Examples of triggered mana abilities
Comprehensive Rules[edit | edit source]
Obsolete Mana burn rule[edit | edit source]
- See also: Mana burn.
When a phase ends, any unused mana left in a player's mana pool is lost. Prior to a rules change in 2010, such a player would lose 1 life for each mana lost this way. This is called mana burn, and because it was loss of life, not damage, it could not be prevented or altered by effects that affect damage.
Mana Burn has been removed from the rules since Magic 2010.
See also[edit | edit source]
Notes[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- Reid Duke. (July 6, 2015.) “The Basics of Mana”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Mike McArtor. (November 13, 2014.) “Oh the Huge Mana Tease”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater. (June 05, 2006.) “As Good As It Gets”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater. ( May 23, 2011.) “Mana Action”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Doug Beyer. (February 06, 2008.) “The Mana Bond”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Doug Beyer. (July 07, 2010.) “Target: Face”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Ari Levitch. (July 15, 2015.) “Limits”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Ari Levitch. (July 6, 2016.) “Campaign of Vengeance”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater. (October 04, 2004.) “Change For the Better”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Paul Sottosanti. (January 29, 2007.) “The Color Purple”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.